COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Kyoto
Travel Guide

Enjoy a traditional tea ceremony, feed wild monkeys and explore World Heritage-listed temples and shrines in this historically rich Japanese city.

Kyoto, on the Japanese island of Honshu, has been a hub of religious activity and political power since the eighth century. It was once the capital of Japan and retains many of the temples and palaces built within this period. Step back in time to imperial Japan as you explore the city’s many World Heritage Sites such as the Kiyomizu Temple. Kyoto is also renowned for its landscaped gardens, many of which are based on designs dating back hundreds of years.

The wealth of cultural history in Kyoto can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. Take the Philosopher’s Walk to orient yourself around some of Kyoto’s historic sights, such as the Eikando Temple. The walk takes in three major temples as well as several smaller temples and shrines, boutique shopping areas and restaurants where you can sample the traditional Japanese multicourse dinner, kaiseki. Cherry blossoms line the walk during spring, and in the fall, the area comes alive with the brilliant reds of maple trees.

Central Kyoto offers a combination of modern and traditional delights. Ride up the Kyoto Tower for a 360-degree view over the city from 330 feet (100 meters) up. Explore the Nishiki Market, lined with restaurants, and fresh produce and street food stalls. See giant salamanders and local river fish at the Kyoto Aquarium.

At one of the regular festivals held in the city, taste some of the food brought to Kyoto from all over Japan to please the Emperor, watch traditional crafts being made, take a lesson in saké brewing and experience the culture of Japan.

Lovers of Japanese literature will enjoy the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa, built to resemble the fictional setting of the 11th-century novel The Tale of Genji.

Tourism is a large part of Kyoto’s economy and there are some unique attractions such as hand feeding wild snow monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park. Kyoto has a welcoming atmosphere, incredible natural beauty and layered history.

Kyoto Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥7,688 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Aquarium. Kyoto Railway Museum and Nishiki Market are also within 2 ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,564 reviews)

"Location is great and the room was pretty nice. Some grime in the bathroom."…"

Reviewed on Dec 28, 2020

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA GRAN KYOTO
RIHGA GRAN KYOTO
3.5 out of 5
1 Higashikujo Nishisannocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥8,727 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9

Located in Minami, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto Tower, Kyoto Aquarium, and Kyoto Railway Museum. Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nishiki Market are also ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (34 reviews)

"新幹線などで来る方には申す分のないホテルだと思います。コロナ禍での対応でビュッフェスタイルの朝食ではなかったですが、その代わりというには満足すぎるおもてなしに感動しました。流石です。また泊まりたいです。"…"

Reviewed on Mar 4, 2021

RIHGA GRAN KYOTO
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
4 out of 5
15 Nishi-Iwamotocho, Higashi-kujo, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥7,636 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower, and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Toji Temple are ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,355 reviews)

"Being an Expedia Gold member they upgraded my room which is great. It was strange that when I stay at hotel and call a front desk from my room, staff greets me first by calling my surname without telling him/her my room number but this hotel nobody ever did. I felt I was not welcome here."…"

Reviewed on Feb 23, 2021

Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
IRORI KYOTO STATION HIGASHI-HONGANJI
IRORI KYOTO STATION HIGASHI-HONGANJI
3 out of 5
33, Nijuuninkoucho, Higashinotointouri-Shomen, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥5,255 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9

Located in Central Kyoto, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Higashi Honganji Temple and Kyoto Tower. Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi are also ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (207 reviews)
I recommend Irori!

"This place was easy to find using Google maps. Small, clean and cute apartment/room. I had a washer in my room, which was extremely helpful. The staff was friendly. Extra notes: Irori was relatively close to restaurants/shops by walking. I rented a bike nearby which was ideal and did a free walking ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 29, 2020

IRORI KYOTO STATION HIGASHI-HONGANJI
nol kyoto sanjo
nol kyoto sanjo
3 out of 5
700, Osakazaimokucho, Nakagyoku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥20,861 per night from Mar 10 to Mar 11

Located in Central Kyoto, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishiki Market, Kawaramachi, and Kyoto International Manga Museum. Pontocho and Shijo ...

5/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)

"お酒飲み放題が素敵でした。"…"

Reviewed on Feb 1, 2021

nol kyoto sanjo
Shoubuan Machiya Residence Inn
Shoubuan Machiya Residence Inn
4 out of 5
240 Eiyoji-cho Takatsuji Aburakoji, higashi-iru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
The price is ¥27,025 per night from Mar 12 to Mar 13

Located in Central Kyoto, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Nishiki Market, Kawaramachi, and Nijō Castle. Pontocho and Yasaka Shrine are also within ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (12 reviews)

"Highly recommended"…"

Reviewed on Mar 10, 2018

Shoubuan Machiya Residence Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Kyoto

Top things to do in Kyoto

Reviews of Kyoto

4.8

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1580
5 - Excellent 78.41191066997519%
4 - Good
398
4 - Good 19.751861042183624%
3 - Okay
31
3 - Okay 1.5384615384615385%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 0.19851116625310175%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.09925558312655088%

5/5 - Excellent

Jennie

Jun 6, 2020

Love Kyoto!! Definitely recommend fir first time Japan travelers.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 3, 2020

very easy to get around and visit all the sites in the area, trains and buses run regularly throughout the day, so you never have very long to wait for one to come along

4/5 - Good

RB

Mar 26, 2020

Quiet at the time of visit. A beautiful place.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 20, 2020

I would love to live here.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

The city itself is great unfortunately didn't have enough time to explore the entire city. There are a TON of temples and shrines to visit in Kyoto, kind of off putting when most of the good ones are "Pay to enter," when others in the country are not

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

Kyoto was a lovely place to visit. There is so much to see here. The traditional neighborhoods and bamboo homes are scenic. The city is safe and pleasant.

Cities near Kyoto